Isle of Man News - POSTED Wed 09-04-2014

Culture of blame at hospital

by Joanne Clague

Culture of blame at hospital - picture

Staff morale at Noble's Hospital is being undermined by a culture of blame, according to an independent investigation of the Island's health service.

Health Minister Howard Quayle says while the report from the West Midlands Quality Review Service highlights areas in need of improvement, there are positives as well as negatives.

Mr Quayle said the report pre-dates major changes recently made to the hospital's management structure, adding: 'Particularly welcome and important is the report's recognition of the impressive commitment and dedication of staff.'

He said work had already begun on a robust action plan.

The report praised staff who face the difficult challenge of providing comprehensive acute health care to a small island population, stating they were 'clearly dedicated' and that most patient feedback was 'very positive'.

But it went on to say the culture that came through to the visiting team was one of blame, with managers, politicians and clinical staff blaming each other and clinical staff blaming other clinical staff, adding: 'The prevalence of blame was undermining morale of staff and confidence of patients.'

The report highlighted a lack of trust, a perceived lack of openness and staff frustration, a culture and governance of the services reviewed which had drifted away from what is considered good practice in England, including a loss of insight into what constitutes a good healthcare system and good clinical practice.

The review found: 'There will always be the potential for clinical staff on the Isle of Man to become isolated from developments in clinical practice and reviewers saw some evidence of this happening. Reviewers were told by several clinical staff about why they no longer had respect for due process. They reported having tried hard over several years to get issues addressed and services improved through appropriate routes. The response they perceived was of their concerns and suggestions being ignored, with little or no communication back to them, and no action taken as a result.'

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